The jade pothos is a plant of the Epipremnum aureum species that belongs to the Araceae family. There are several other plants that belong to this species that include the golden pothos, marble queen, silver satin, neon pothos and more.
The jade pothos in particular is known for its dark green leaves that form the shape of a heart. The plant also has a vine-like climbing structure that it shares in common with other plants in the species as well.
The jade pothos has become a common houseplant across the world since it is aesthetic, easy to care for and does not die easily even if it does not receive sufficient light.
There are several things you should keep in mind when it comes to the jade pothos care requirements. Let’s take a look at these in detail, along with their propagation requirements and some other tips.
Jade Pothos Care
You need to ensure that you provide the essential care to the jade pothos plant while it is growing. This is important so that you can maintain the healthy growth of the plant throughout its lifespan.
You can go through these criteria and requirements below so that you can move on to growing and caring for this plant on your own.
It is important to ensure that the jade pothos is getting sufficient light throughout its lifespan. However, a unique aspect of this plant is that it can survive even if there is not enough light around it for a limited period of time.
Overall, this plant prefers bright sunlight that you can provide to it by placing it on a suitable window or balcony that receives sunlight for multiple hours a day. Yet, it is necessary to ensure that this sunlight is not too direct as this can cause the plant to become pale or burn due to the harsh rays.
As long as you ensure that the sunlight is indirect while also providing enough shade to the plant during the afternoon, the plant will be able to grow in a healthy manner.
Keep in mind that while this plant can withstand low amounts of light for limited or even extended periods of time, this could affect the growth rate of the plant.
For instance, if you keep the plant in the dark or in shade for too long, it might end up growing much slower than usual.
Jade pothos can thrive at room temperatures up to 75℉ or around 25℃ if you are growing it indoors. Generally, USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11 are ideal for this plant due to warmer temperatures.
If you live in colder climates, it can be better to grow your plants indoors as long as the temperature remains above 50℉. This makes it clear that this plant prefers overall consistent temperatures to be able to grow to its fullest and healthiest extent.
Anything more than 85℉ can also be unfavorable for the plant. If growing indoors, make sure that you position the plant appropriately. Placing it too close to your air conditioners or heaters may end up harming the healthy growth of the plant.
This plant prefers average to high levels of humidity in the air around it. Generally, 40% to 50% of humidity around the plant can be ideal, allowing it to thrive.
You can achieve this by placing this plant in a room or area of your house that tends to have a comparatively high level of humidity. For example, bathrooms or kitchens can be suitable for this.
If you live in humid climates, then placing the plant on a windowsill or on a balcony can also provide the relevant humidity conditions for the jade pothos plant. You can also buy and use a humidifier that can increase the humidity levels in a given room.
It is important to note that even if you cannot ensure such humidity levels, your plant is unlikely to die or suffer too much damage. However, it is possible that its growth rate will slow down a bit. The leaves might also become yellowish or brown.
You should ideally water the jade pothos plant approximately once a week (or even once in two weeks). Water it thoroughly each time you do so, but ensure that you do not overwater it as this could lead to root rot. You can notice the rot if the leaves of the plant start spotting or if the plant withers.
It is necessary to allow the soil to dry out before you water the plant again to prevent the roots from rotting. In particular, the top couple of inches of the soil should dry out each time.
In case there is already plenty of humidity in the air due to cloudiness, cold temperatures or general humidity conditions inside your house, then you should let the soil dry out thoroughly before you water it.
Luckily, this plant can withstand small or irregular amounts of watering as long as this does not become a habit.
Try to start watering from the middle of the plant using the equipment of your choice.
The soil that you grow your jade pothos plant in should be damp enough but not too moist. It should also be well draining so that too much water does not collect inside it, as this could damage the roots as well as the overall health and growth of the plant.
To keep the soil well draining, you can use a regular potting mix from the store or nursery. You can also mix some coarse sand or pumice to ensure that it allows the water to drain out well.
A well-draining pot can also prove useful for some additional support.
When it comes to the pH level of the soil, this plant is quite versatile and can withstand different conditions well enough. Generally, a pH level ranging from neutral to acidic can be ideal. Make sure that the soil does not become too alkaline as this could cause the leaves to burn.
You can use any kind of regular fertilizer that has a good balance of nutrients in it, such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. You can normally buy such houseplant fertilizers from stores in your local area or through an online store.
Make sure that these fertilizers do not contain an unusually high amount of salt as this could end up making the soil too alkaline, causing the leaves to burn.
Before you feed the fertilizer to the plant, you should dilute it with some water so that the strength of the fertilizer does not overwhelm the plant too much. Since these plants do not need too much fertilizing, a strong fertilizer can prove to be damaging to the soil and roots.
How often should you fertilize your plant? Ideally, once or twice a month or even once in two months can work well for this plant, especially during the growing season (spring to early fall). You can increase the gap from twice a month to once in one or two months as the temperature starts to fall.
Ensure that the soil is not too dry whenever you feed the fertilizer to the plant.
This plant does not bloom any flowers at any point in its growing season despite belonging to a flowering family. There are some other kinds of this species that can bloom flowers if they grow in wild areas like forests, but most plants of this species do not.
This is because of the “shy-flowering” nature of this plant that arises from a deficiency of the gibberellin (GA) plant gene or hormone. In fact, through an experiment, flowering took place in this species when this gene was introduced to the plant.
Growing this plant at home limits the possibility of flowering even more, although you can definitely expect a rich green color from the leaves of the plants.
Potting and Repotting
You should select a pot or container of a suitable size for the jade pothos plant. Keep in mind that the size of the pot will also determine the overall size to which the plant will grow. In case you want to keep it small, then you can start with a small but sturdy pot.
The pot that you select should also be porous or well draining so that the water does not collect inside it as this could otherwise damage the plant. You can also use a pot with holes so that this process becomes easier.
It is also important for you to keep repotting the plant on a regular basis or once the plant has grown too big for the current pot. How can you tell when it grows too big? You will be able to see the leaves starting to droop without lifting back up, no matter how well you care for the plant otherwise.
If you opt for a pot with holes, you might also be able to notice the roots coming out of these holes. In this case, you should opt for a bigger pot or container and repot the plant in it with some new soil as well.
Apart from the general care instructions that you must carry out for the healthy growth of this plant, you should also regularly maintain it by pruning it so that it does not end up growing too big for its growing space or for your house.
Restricting its growth through pruning will not adversely affect the overall health of the plant. In fact, it can provide healthier growth if you regularly trim it.
Make sure that you trim out all the dead leaves whenever you notice them. In case the leaves become pale and lose their natural color or become damaged, you can go right ahead and trim those out from the plant.
You can also prune damaged stems from the plant. Make sure you use sharp enough scissors for this so that you can make a clean and angled cut. You should make this cut close to the node and above it so that you can enable healthy growth from this point.
This kind of pruning can also help you maintain the shape of the plant. For instance, if you prefer fuller and denser growth, then pruning can help with this by preventing the plant from becoming too thin and spindly.
Pests and Diseases
There aren’t too many pests that can gather on this plant. However, you should still regularly clean and prune the plant so that you can prevent any kind of pests from getting attracted to the plant in the first place.
Even if rare, some common pests that you might find on the jade pothos plant include mealybugs. These mealybugs are tiny and oval in shape. They tend to be covered with wax and look white and cottony in appearance.
They suck the sap out of the plants, causing the leaves to droop and take on a pale color. If you notice these on time, you can get rid of them by applying insecticides or through rubbing alcohol. You can also use neem oil or another natural product.
A common disease that can occur in this plant is root rot that can damage your plant due to excess water. However, this is avoidable by ensuring that you regulate the watering levels.
In the wild or outdoors, jade pothos plants can grow as tall or long as 40 feet. However, since you want to restrict their growth indoors, the plant will be able to grow up to ten feet tall.
It is important to ensure sufficient space for this plant to grow to its desired and required extent. Since it tends to grow in a climbing or vine-like manner, you can also make provisions for it to climb around a certain structure.
The size can give the plant and your room the suitable aesthetic that you are striving for. If you want to allow it to grow a bit taller, you can also keep it on a balcony.
It is possible to restrict the size of this plant by using small containers and by regular pruning.
This plant has a rapid growth rate and can grow an entire foot tall within a single month, provided that it receives the necessary conditions for its growth. This growth rate is what allows the plant to grow so tall throughout its lifespan.
Of course, the speed is likely to be a bit slower when you grow this plant at home. This is because you deliberately restrict some of its growing conditions, such as the depth of the roots, by restricting the size of the container.
These plants and, in fact, the entire plant species, are toxic and can even be poisonous. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists this plant as toxic to pets, particularly cats, dogs and horses.
In case your pet comes into contact with this plant either through touching it or ingesting it, several symptoms will arise such as irritation, itchiness, swelling, pain, vomiting, issues with swallowing and more. In this case, you should take your pet to the veterinarian.
It can also be toxic to humans, leading to vomiting, irritation, pain and swelling. This can be even more pronounced and dangerous in children.
Thus, another element of care when it comes to the jade pothos plants is to keep them away from your pets and kids. You should also wash your hands properly after handling this plant.
It is important to restrict the growth of this plant (as well as other plants of this species) since it can become quite invasive, especially if you grow it in a region that it does not natively belong to.
As a houseplant, however, the invasion is unlikely to take place since you are bound to restrict its growth from the very beginning. If you grow it outdoors, however, you will strictly need to prevent its growth beyond a certain point so that it does not disturb others living nearby.
There might also be restrictions on growing it outdoors depending on where you live.
The jade pothos can live for around five to ten years, after which it will naturally die. This time period, however, is not absolute. Its lifespan can also be shortened significantly depending on its growing conditions.
If you provide all the aforementioned care requirements to this plant, then you can expect it to stay with you for this time period. However, with an absence of proper care, it might end up dying much quicker.
Further, if too many bacteria, pests or diseases arise, then its lifespan may reduce even more, especially if you do not notice them on time.
It is important to follow the right process when it comes to propagating jade pothos. You can carry out this propagation using stem cuttings of the plant that you can obtain from a mature plant.
Let’s take a look at the process and methods of propagation.
You will first need to gather all the relevant materials that you will require during the propagation process. These include:
- Sharp and sterilized scissors or shears
- Stem cuttings from a healthy plant
- Potting soil mix
- Pot or container
- Bottles/vase/jars filled with water
- Rooting hormone
- Soil scoop (if required)
- Gloves (if required; recommended for safety)
Water and Soil
One way in which you can propagate jade pothos using stem cuttings is by initially growing them in water. Once they become big enough, you can transfer them to a pot containing soil.
Go through the following steps to find out more about this process.
- You will first need to cut the stems from a healthy adult jade pothos plant. You can use the sterilized and sharp scissors or shears to carry this out in a clean way without damaging the plant. Make sure you cut stems that are up to six inches tall and have three or four leaves on them.
- Pluck out the leaf present at the bottom of the stem. Do this for all the stem cuttings that you have obtained.
- Take a clear bottle, jar or vase and fill it up with water. Place the stem cuttings in these, ensuring that each container only contains one cutting. Ensure that the leaves of each cutting are above the water.
- You can then place this planter on a windowsill or balcony, providing it with bright sunlight. Make sure that this sunlight is not too harsh and direct.
- You should allow the roots to grow and develop up to a few inches. This will take up to a month.
- Once the roots are well formed, you will need to shift the plant to a pot containing fresh soil. Make sure you do not damage any of the roots during this process.
Another way in which you can propagate the stem cuttings is by directly planting them in soil. You can figure out this process by going through the following steps.
- Cut the stems from a healthy plant using sharp and sterilized scissors. These should be up to six inches tall and must have around four leaves on each stem. Pluck out the leaf present at the bottom of each stem.
- Apply some rooting hormone to the cut edge of each stem to make it easier for the cuttings to grow healthily.
- Take a pot or container and fill it with a soil mix that is well draining. You can add some sand and peat to enhance this aspect.
- Plant the cuttings in the soil by ensuring that the initial node of each stem is inside the soil. You can place multiple cuttings in a single pot.
- In this method, you will need to gradually introduce the plant to sunlight so that it does not get overwhelmed as this might cause it to burn. Once it starts blooming, you can keep increasing the amount of sunlight.
- In case the initial pot is too small, you will need to repot the plant into a bigger pot or container once the roots are well formed.
- Continue caring for the plant with the standard care requirements explained above.
There are several other tips that can help you care for this plant better that you can go through below.
- Ensure that you remove the cuttings from the water once the roots have formed well. Not doing so might prevent the plant from growing well in the soil.
- The leaves of this plant tend to grow in the direction of the sunlight, so it can help to keep rotating the pot regularly to ensure fuller growth on all sides.
- It can be better to use pots that contain holes so that the soil does not end up retaining excess water even if the soil is well draining. This can prevent the roots from rotting.
- You can hang the plant from the ceiling or use a vertical pole to allow the vine to look better in your home.
Like most plants, jade pothos plants can clear up the air around you so that you can breathe healthier air that is free from general pollutants. It can also significantly improve the aesthetic of your room or workspace by adding some color and brightness.
Further, since this plant tends to grow as a vine, you can make it grow in any direction to improve the overall appeal of the plant.
What Should I Do If the Leaves Become Yellow?
The leaves of your jade pothos plant can sometimes turn yellow or a pale brown color. This is likely to be due to some gaps in the care of the plant that could cause the leaves to wither and change color from green to yellow.
For instance, the initial signs of root rot can indicate a yellow color on the leaves. Additionally, if you leave the plant out in direct sunlight for too long or grow it in low humidity, then this yellow color can arise as well.
In this case, you should try to ensure proper care conditions. You can also prune the yellow leaves so that healthier ones can grow in their place.
Where Can I Place This Plant?
You can place this plant anywhere in your house or workplace provided that the area receives sufficiently bright sunlight without it being overbearing. You should also try to ensure enough space for the plant to grow since it can become quite tall or long.
Humidity levels are also important here, so find a place (like a bathroom or kitchen) that has enough humidity in the air.
Using a fixed structure to grow the plant can help ensure that the plant does not grow out in unruly directions.
Why Are There Brown Extensions on the Plant?
In case you notice brown extensions on this plant, these are likely to be roots that are growing above the soil in the air. However, you should not worry about these brown extensions since they will not cause any damage to the plant.
In fact, these roots will enable the plant to keep growing in its typical and unique vine form. This can allow it to keep growing and climbing with enough support throughout the structure of the plant.
In case you are worried about how they look, if they get too wild, you can simply cut some of them out.
Can My Jade Pothos Plant Climb Up a Structure?
Yes, your jade pothos plant can climb up a structure easily. It can take the shape or direction of any base structure. This can also considerably add to the overall aesthetic of the plant and can spruce up your room.
You can either use a horizontal or vertical structure to grow this plant in your desired direction. Keep in mind that the plant will grow towards the sun, so you can adjust the base structure accordingly.
Having a base structure will also allow the plant to have some support while growing, preventing the plant from growing too unruly.
Are There Other Kinds of Pothos Plants?
There are several kinds of pothos plants apart from the jade pothos. For instance, there is a marble queen variety that has green and white colors on the leaves in the form of stripes. Similarly, a neon variety has a brighter green color of the leaves as compared to the darker green on the jade pothos.
There are several other varieties as well that may include spots and dots on the leaves in different colors or shades. Depending on the kind of plant, you will need to provide different care requirements, such as lighting and watering.
How Can I Tell If I Have the Right Kind of Pothos Plant?
Despite the different kinds of jade pothos plants, it can be easy to confuse one for the other because the leaves are generally of a similar shape. The overall size of the plant is also around the same.
To ensure that you have the jade pothos plant and not any other variety, you should focus on the color of the leaves. These leaves will be a darker and richer green as compared to the other varieties.
If you are buying the cuttings from a store or borrowing them from a mature plant that a local nursery or someone else has, then you can confirm the variety with the owner or the seller.
Does the Jade Pothos Have a Dormancy Period?
Jade pothos plants have their growing season from spring to early fall or autumn. This is when the plant grows healthily and requires regular feeding and watering.
It enters its dormancy period during the onset of winter, which can last until early spring. You should minimize or halt watering and feeding at this stage to allow the plant to rest.
This brings us to the end of this guide, through which we have taken you through all the jade pothos care requirements. Make sure you follow all these necessities to ensure that your plant grows to its fullest extent.